Shannon Cochran will star in two plays at South Coast Repertory this month

The actress will be on double duty, playing the female lead in two plays this month at SCR.
Photograph by Emily J. Davis

Cochran’s storied career includes work on stage, in movies, and on dozens of TV shows. She tackles a new challenge this month with lead roles in concurrent plays at South Coast Repertory, “The Little Foxes” and “Appropriate.” Cochran lives in L.A. but is no stranger to Orange County and SCR, having performed in “System Wonderland” and “A Doll’s House, Part 2.” She’ll relocate to O.C. for the duration of this run: “I drove back and forth the entire time (previously) and I thought, I’m never doing this again.” She discusses what she’s looking forward to with this twin theatrical run.

I’m one of those actors who never did summer stock. (Simultaneous roles) is a first for me. It’s both terrifying and thrilling to hold two plays up in your head at the same time.

Both plays are about what happens in family dynamics, in both birth order and gender. I’m the oldest, and my family jokes about how bossy I am. But all this responsibility fell to me, not just because I was the oldest, but because I was the female. And I think there’s a lot of conversation about that in both of these plays.

I think O.C. audiences are educated and extremely appreciative. … I’m interested to see what they’ll embrace with these plays. We have to broaden and do more plays from voices that have been marginalized.

Keeping the dialects straight will be a challenge. Once you start hearing something that sounds cartoonish and Southern, you make assumptions, and they’re not always accurate. … Having grown up in the South and then spending many years in Chicago, people treated me like a bit of a Southern Belle. And I felt like the furthest thing from that. 

My husband and I love the Crab Cooker in Newport Beach. That’s how we plan our trips. Could we stop at the Crab Cooker on our way to South Coast Rep? We also love Taco Marìa.

See Cochran in “The Little Foxes” and “Appropriate” this month.